Home Industry News Colleen Frei Announced As WA Winegrowers Executive Director

Colleen Frei Announced As WA Winegrowers Executive Director

Washington Winegrowers Association today announced Colleen Frei as Executive Director of the nonprofit organization that serves winegrowers and vintners in the state.

Frei was a partner at Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn & Aylward, P.S. for 18 years, focusing on agriculture, water rights, business and succession planning, and has served on community boards and state and professional groups bringing extensive nonprofit leadership.

“Colleen’s background makes it possible for her to hit the ground running as Winegrowers continues to meet member and broader industry needs. We’re excited for her experience navigating the issues that face the wine industry, and her passion and drive to adapt to our ever-changing environment,” said Shane Collins, Board Chair of Washington Winegrowers.

As Executive Director, Frei is responsible for developing and stewarding relationships with growers, vintners, policymakers, educational institutions, and other industry partners. She will provide vision and leadership to Washington Winegrowers, including state and federal government relations and advocacy as well as educational programming, strategic planning, and organization development.

“I am thrilled to join the Washington Winegrowers team to continue strengthening the wine industry.  Winegrowers is at the forefront of innovation and change, engaging all sides of the wine industry with Sustainable WA™ as the first statewide certified sustainability program, the Latino Agricultural Education Program, and WineVit® convention and trade show as examples.  I look forward to building on the legacy accomplished to date and am excited to be part of future success,” stated Frei.

She begins her new position as Executive Director on January 1, 2024.

Frei takes over from Vicky Scharlau who has held the position since 1999.  Scharlau will remain with Washington Winegrowers as of-counsel, facilitating select programs.

“It has truly been an honor to serve Winegrowers. The needs of the wine industry are so unique and advocating for the Washington wine industry has been exhilarating and the greatest challenge of my professional career. Colleen’s impressive credentials and leadership skills are exactly what is needed in the next phase of Washington’s growth,” said Scharlau.

About Washington Winegrowers Association:

Founded in 1983, the Washington Winegrowers Association supports members by addressing industry needs through collaboration and partnerships to enhance the Washington wine industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *